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Tips & Techniques:Extreme Side-chain compressing

techno, house, electronica
this little trick starts from the-now standard- side-chain-the bass-with-the-kick-trick for techno and most electronica music.

ill explain the regular procedure and then continue with the "trick".

in techno, house and most electronica music producers use the kick drum to compress the bass or other elements in the mix everytime it hits, thus creating a "bigger" bang on the downbeats or just "pump" the mix.

to do this, you create a kick drum doing for on the floor (basic techno beat) and loop it all the way to the end. you lower the volume on that track so you dont hear it but still will be the source for side chain compressors in other tracks.

so you create a bass line using softsynth or prerecorded material, you insert a compressor that is side chain able and select the kick drum as your input source,
i always choose track 1 for the kick.

on the compressor you set a fast attack and med release and depending on how much "pumping you wanna do you fiddle with ratio and threshhold.

now for the trick. ...

do the same as above but BEFORE the compressor add a reverb. (yes, inserted. dont use sends.)
this will create a bigger pump as the compressor will suck in and out the bass and the reverb.
fiddle around with the settings to taste.

another trick...

after you have a loop going or just a part of a section you like with synths, bass drums etc...

mute the kick track of your mix (not the side chain kick source)
then insert a copressor in the master track and select the kick to trigger the side chain (same as the examples above)

this will make your mix pump a lot.

not grab the threshold and really squash it so the pumping is very very extreme. then use a limiter like an L2, and squash it to hell. i mean REALLY squash it. to the point that it distorts like hell but you still hear the track pumping.

bounce the that section and normalize everything.

import the squashed file u got and use it creatively for transitions, reverse it, chop it, etc.

another trick....

do the same as above but with only the bass.

after importing it you chop it up and create a new bass line from that.

u have instant insane elektro bass

im trying to put a video to demostrate all this... soon

Contributors: mw, gsilbers
Created by gsilbers, 10th January 2008 at 09:40 PM
Last edited by mw, 27th March 2012 at 03:05 PM
Last comment by SmileOnImpact on 16th April 2009 at 03:12 AM
1 Comments, 39,619 Views

(1) Comments for: Extreme Side-chain compressing (techno, house, electronica) Page Tools Search this Page
Old 16th April 2009
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SmileOnImpact's Avatar


That's wikkid.

It's really trendy at the moment.

There's a cool little video tute here that explains the basics:

the guy's a bit weird tho, but it makes sense

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